James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

9 Things I’ll miss about living in the rainforest

For some reason, whenever I land back at London Heathrow it’s always raining. Four days before I’d been trekking through dense rainforest, leaving behind me a science camp that had been home for the past month. In the four days it took to emerge from that world to this, one hundred years or more could have past.

Here’s a few things I’ll miss about the Amazon:

  • Brilliantly coloured Blue and Yellow Macaws flying over head at dawn and dusk.
  • The Blue Morpho, an electric blue butterfly bigger than your hand that dances seemingly at random through the dark understory.
  • A dawn roar of Howler Monkeys, easily mistakable for thunder.
  • Stars, more than you could imagine, with the milky way like a big white brush stroke across the sky.
  • Fruit juices, whose mryad of names I can’t pronounce or remember.
  • Rivers are roads and cars are canoes, that’s the way it is in the Amazon (you also don’t get traffic jams).
  • Leafcutter ants marching across the forest floor. Efficient, relentless and mesmerizing.
  • That fifteen or so minutes at dusk when squadrons of acrobatic dragonflies dance across the sky, hunting down and providing a brief respite from hoards of invading mosquitos.
  • Having a 360 degree panoramic view of forest, lake and sky.

* * *

If you liked this article, you might enjoy reading: